07 Sep 5 Reasons Why I Can’t Imagine Falling In Love With a Man
A regular conversation I have with my friends at our biweekly Men Are Trash symposium is “why do we fall for the very same creatures whose existence ultimately oppresses us?” Why do our insides still flutter when we think about a certain guy by the name of…?
On top of trying to escape the triple oppression noosed to our necks at birth, black womxn still have to deal with feeling stuck and conflicted in the chaotic intersection between our politics and sexuality. While I know and accept that I am a sexual being who cautiously and perhaps secretly also hopes for idealistic, overly-romanticised love (the kind sold to us in movies like Brown Sugar); a defiant part of me refuses to allow anyone close enough to dilute my distaste for men.
To that end, I have decided to share five reasons why the idea of love, with a man, is absolutely daunting:
- Men are Oblivious
There is nothing as emotionally taxing as a conversation with a cisgender heterosexual man. Imagine trying to explain to a six-month-old child that they cannot simply stick everything they come across into their mouths. All you’ll get as a response is a blank stare, because the child ‒ at that stage ‒ is incapable of understanding your reasoning let alone your form of communication. At least with children, their ignorance is charming and forgivable.
Men seem to think that their obliviousness to womxn’s struggles at their hands is justifiable simply because they can use intelligible language to justify it. Their ignorance is unforgivable and deeply condescending.
Our society is, as it stands, predicated on three all-encompassing principles ‒ racism, patriarchy and capitalism. The three often go hand in hand, and most men will agree with that. However the issue here is that only racism and capitalism are considered urgent problems in society. Patriarchy or male privilege, is a discussion very few men are willing to have. After all, who would want to willingly partake in a discussion regarding what would be the end of their perks in society?
So what we are left with, unfortunately, is obliviousness. Unforgivable, distasteful, condescending obliviousness.
- Men are Entitled and Annoying
A certain man recently acquired the courage to send me a message on some social media platform. Needless to say in a matter of days, they decided to inform me of their bold intention to marry me. The person was not even asking me, they merely stated it as an entitled matter-of-fact. This is generally how men operate in society, they feel perpetually entitled to every aspect of our being ‒ our bodies, labour, phones numbers, relationship statuses but worst of all ‒ our lives.
The murder and assault rate of womxn in South Africa is appalling, but even more appalling is realising that as I type this article (and as you read it) another womxn is lost to the violent hands of a man because he couldn’t handle rejection.
- ‘Insecure’ Should Be Their Second Name
Much can be said here but I reserve all opinions and merely revert to one powerful statement ‒ ‘Fragile Masculinity’.
Masculinity is fragile because the only way for it to firmly assert itself in society is if it performs hypermasculinity ‒ “the exaggeration of male stereotypical behaviour”. Any man who even remotely does not put an emphasis on strength, violence or aggression and virility is bound to be shunned or insulted by other men who think that they embody ‘manhood’. Ultimately, rooted in hypermasculinity is a deep and toxic insecurity, I would argue. An insecurity that constantly whispers they are not enough, and so the only way to silence this whisper is to over-perform masculinity, to the detriment of womxn.
- Someone Told Them They Were the Sun
If you are raised to believe that the world worships the ground you walk on, you are bound to believe that you are the sun and all of humanity ought to revolve around you. Only someone who believes that they are the sun would have the audacity to scream “Not All Men” when womxn collectively cry out against the injustice perpetrated against them. Only someone who believes they are the sun would be confident enough to stand in front of a crowd and spur out revolutionary quotes, only to make homophobic and ableist remarks when they step off that podium.
- Men Are Trash
Refer to the previous four points.